A hernia is a condition in which part of an organ protrudes through a weak wall in the body cavity, or protrudes through an opening which formerly existed in an adjacent organ. This does not necessarily involve a rupture or a tear. Common forms of hernias are inguinal, incision, umbilical and hiatal.
Inguinal hernia, the most common form of hernia, occurs in the groin. It can be due to a congenital disorder or it can be caused by improper lifting of heavy objects. Surgery is usually necessary to fix the condition.
An incision hernia results from weakening of the abdominal wall due to surgery.
An umbilical hernia occurs in infancy and is often self-healing.
A hiatal hernia (also called an esophageal hernia) is a protrusion of the stomach above the diaphragm through its hiatus. This condition involves three different organs. Normally, the stomach remains anchored to the abdomen and is prevented from ascending into the chest since the muscular structure around the esophageal hiatus of the diaphragm fits tightly. The stomach will ascend into the chest if the hiatus is too wide. A diaphragmatic hernia differs from a hiatal hernia in that the defect does not involve the esophageal hiatus.
Treatment involves eating small quantities at one meal, eating slowly, chewing thoroughly, losing weight and avoiding the use of restrictive clothing.
Signs & Symptoms
Most individuals with hiatal hernia have few symptoms other than heartburn and are diagnosed through X-ray examination.
Heartburn is a burning sensation which starts below the breast bone and ascends into the neck; this can occur when the reflux of acidic juices is facilitated or aggravated due to such things as fatty, spicy meals, bending over or lying down.
Reflux of acidic stomach contents all the way to the mouth
In congenital cases, the infant may spit up milk with blood
Adult Child/Adolescent Betaine HCl 5 - 10 g n/a Pancreatin 5 NF n/a
Note: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.
Not all medical professionals believe that nutritional management of hiatal hernia is helpful. Some nutritional professionals have advised the individual be placed on a Weight Reduction Diet, obesity being a common underlying factor for the development of hiatal hernia. If the individual has symptoms of acute gastric disturbance, the diet should stress bland foods. Meals, moreover, should be small and frequent. The evening meal especially should be small, to prevent nocturnal symptoms of indigestion.
The diet should include foods that are easily digested and not prone to cause gastric distress such as:
Avocado Grapefruit (w/o skin) Banana Margarine Butter Meat Cooked fruits Milk and milk products Cooked vegetables Orange (w/o skin) Decaffeinated coffee and tea - black Peanut butter Egg Poultry
Foods to be omitted are:
Black pepper Chili pepper Broth Ethanol Caffeinated drinks Fried and highly seasoned foods
Reflux of food into the esophagus may be avoided by sitting upright while eating and sleeping with the upper part of the body elevated.
1. Lycopodium Clavatum - 30C, long term a right sided remedy
2. Nux vomica - 30C best for strangulations
Doses cited are to be administered on a 3X daily schedule, unless otherwise indicated. Dose usually continued for 2 weeks. Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose. Solid preps are usually 3 pellets per dose. Children use 1/2 dose.
X = 1 to 10 dilution - weak (triturition)
C = 1 to 100 dilution - weak (potency)
M = 1 to 1 million dilution (very strong)
X or C underlined means it is most useful potency
Asterisk (*) = Primary remedy. Means most necessary remedy. There may be more than one remedy - if so, use all of them.
Boericke, D.E., 1988. Homeopathic Materia Medica.
Coulter, C.R., 1986. Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines.
Kent, J.T., 1989. Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica.
Koehler, G., 1989. Handbook of Homeopathy.
Shingale, J.N., 1992. Bedside Prescriber.
Smith, Trevor, 1989. Homeopathic Medicine.
Ullman, Dana, 1991. The One Minute (or so) Healer.
Aloe vera plant
Slippery elm bark
Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.
Slippery elm bark or marshmallow soothes inflamed tissue.
So far as an hiatal hernia is concerned, it may be irritated by ingredients of a number of herbs. A list of "irritant herbs" has been compiled. (After Newall]
Herb Effects Alfalfa Irritant, canavanine in seeds Arnica Irritant to mucous membranes Asafetida Irritant gum, Blue Flag Irritant gum and oil Bogbean Irritant to GI tract Boldo Irritant oil Buchu Irritant oil Capsicum Capsaicinoids, mucosal irritants Cassia Irritant to mucous membranes, oil Cinnamon Irritant to mucous membranes, oil Cohosh, Blue Irritant to mucous membranes; spasmogenic in vitro Cowslip Irritant saponins Drosera Plumbagin. irritant Eucalyptus Irritant Oil False Unicorn Large doses may cause vomiting Figwort Purgative effect Garlic Raw clove Ground Ivy Irritant oil Guaiacum Avoid if inflammatory condition Horse chestnut Saponins, contra-indicated in renal disease Horse radish Irritant oil Hydrangea Hydrangin, possible gastro-enteritis Jamaican Dogwood Irritant to humans Juniper Irritant oil Lemon Verbena Irritant oil Lime Flower Irritant to kidney Nettle Tea irritant to stomach Parlsey Irritant oil Pennyroyal Toxic & irritant oil Pilewort Irritant sap Pleurisy Root GI irritant Pokeroot Saponins Pulsatilla Irritant to mucous membranes Queen's Delight Diterpenes Sarsaparilla Saponins Senega Saponins Skunk Cabbage Inflammatory & blistering to skin Squill Saponins
Newall CA, Anderson LA, Phillipson JD. Herbal Medicines: A Guide for Health-care Professionals. London: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996.
Aromatherapy - Essential Oils
Basil Essence, Cypress Essence, Ginger Essence, Hyssop Essence, Lavender Essence, Rosemary Essence.
Related Health ConditionsAbstracts
Alpers, D.H., R.E. Clouse & W.F. Stenson. 1983. Manual of Nutritional Therapeutics. Little, Brown, and Company, Boston. 457 pp.
Berkow, R. 1977. The Merck Manual. Merck Sharp and Dohme Research Laboratories Pub., Rahway, New Jersey. 2165 pp.
Bland, Jeffrey. Nutraerobics. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1983.
Bland, Jeffrey. Medical Applications of Clinical Nutrition. New Canaan, Conn.: Keats, 1983.
Bunce, G.E. Nutrition and Cataract. Nutrition Reviews, 38. 1980.
Chicago Dietetic Association & S.Suburban Dietetic Association of Cook & Will counties. 1981. Man. of Clin. Dietetics. WB Saunders Co, Phila.
Fein, H.D. 1978. Nutrition in diseases of the stomach, including related areas in the esophagus and duodenum. Modern Nutrition & Disease. 6th ed.
Galmiche JP & Janssens J The pathophysiology of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease: an overview. Scand J Gastroenterol Suppl, 1995, 211:, 7-18.
Goodhart, R.S. and M.E. Shils, eds. Lea & Febiger, Phila.
Iowa Dietetics Association. 1984. Simplified Diet Manual: with Meal Patterns. 5th ed. Iowa State University Press; Ames, Iowa. 108 pp.
Lee BY & Thurmon TF: Nutritional disorders in a concentration camp. J Am Coll Nutr, 1997 Aug, 16:4, 366-75.
Michel H et al., Hepato-digestive disorders in athletic practice. Presse Med, 23(10):479-84 1994 Mar 12.
Pennington, J. 1978. Nutritional Diet Therapy. Bull Publishing Co., Palo Alto, Ca. 106 pp.
Robbins, S.L. & R.S. Cotran. 1979. Pathologic Basis of Disease. 2nd ed. Saunders Pub Co., Philadelphia. 1598 pp.
Subak-Sharpe, G.J. 1984. The Physician's Manual For Patients. Times Books Pub, New York. 607 pp.
Wyngaarden, J.B. & L.H. Smith. 1985. Cecil's Textbook of Medicine. Saunders Pub Co., Philadelphia. 2341 pp.
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